Thu Jun 29th, 2006 at 08:51:48 AM EST
Just five minutes ago PM of Spain Zapatero has announced the beginning of talks with the terrorists group ETA.
In a press conference that will probably hit international media quite soon (you read it here first), Zapatero announced that they will open talks with ETA given that the police and secret sevice have corroborated a complete lack of activity by ETA.
Some extra information you may not find in the international press under the fold...and please..come in with comments..the feeling is that this time is for real.
Promoted by Colman
Three bits of information that you only can get from the spanish press.
First bit, Zapatero wanted to announce the negotations formally in Congress, but expecting the heckling and wooos of the right-wing Popular party decided to skip his desire (and promise) to give a more serious institutational tone. He got the support from all political parties in congress except for PP (which tried to spoilt the press conference by announcing five hours earlier its existence) to break his promise.
Second bit, Zapatero has made a good deal of emphasis on "negotiation will not mean to pay any political price" during the press conference. This is the frame used by the Popular party to mean that no change in the Basque statute should be implemented. Zapatero stressed that no political negotiations will be carried out with ETA and that no political price will be paid. On the other hand he strongly hinted that any process within the constitution will be carried out with all political forces to help support the process. So it really seems that Batasuna, the illegal political party supporting ETA will probably condemn violence and become a legal party..soon? allowing it to participate in a new statute?
Third bit of information. I think Zapatero has been trying to clarify the end point of the negotiations because nobody announces with this publicity the talks (at least former presidents F. Gonzalez and J. M Aznar never did it) if he does not know where they are going. On the other hand the judicial system has a lot of open processes against ETA memebers or ETA structures of the past which hardly anyone knows where they are going. Actually, the blackmail structure of ETA seems to have had some dissidents who wanted to get money no matter what the chief members of the organization group were ordering producing a police raid last week. The official reason of the raid could also be false information provided by the government to support the talks and some particular member of the ETA organization more willing to talk. Nobody really knows.
In this framework is very important to know what will happen in the "Audiencia Nacional" a very important and separate court system that deals with terrorists and organized crime. The one who will be the judge in charge of dealing with most of the ETA files (the more delicate ones) will be very important. If it falls in the hands of a fascist judge there will be extremelly nasty inside political and "existential" fights. If it falls in pro-government hands Zapatero will have everything under his control....except the radical right-wing media...and the right wing neo-con PP party behind. Right now, it seems that a good bunch of the files will go very soon to a very famous judge...the Pinochet judge Baltasar Garzón that most of you will remember. He has hinted different things at different times about the proper course of action with ETA now.
I know I forget a lot of details...very important...like what kind of approximations exist right now...what kind of strategy will Batasuna follow..and PP...and PNV (the democratic nationalistic center-right basque party)..
A lot of opens questions...comments...ideas...